National Parks and Monuments
CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL MONUMENT
P.O. Box 588
Chinle, AZ 86503 928-674-5500
About 4.5 hours northwest of Flagstaff on Highway 191, Canyon de Chelly represents one of the longest continuously inhabited areas of North America. The canyon is home to a large number of spectacular ruins of the ancient Puebloan culture known as the Anasazi. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a unique member of the National Park Service in that it is entirely composed of Navajo Tribal Trust Land. Within the park is a thriving community of Navajo people, and some areas of the park are off-limits to the general public without a Navajo guide.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 928-638-7888
About two hours north of Flagstaff on Highway 180, the Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919 after years as a national monument and a forest reserve. The canyon was carved over millions of years by the Colorado River and is almost 280 miles long, with its width ranging from just a quarter mile to more than 15 miles. The resulting cut into the Colorado Plateau has exposed millions of years of the earth’s history stored in layers of rock. The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most striking natural attractions and brings more than 5 million people to the state of Arizona annually, including a large number of international visitors.
IRONWOOD FOREST NATIONAL MONUMENT
Tucson Field Office
3201 E. Universal Way
Tucson, AZ 85546 520-258-7200
About one hour south of Phoenix on Interstate 10, Ironwood Forest National Monument is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and contains the largest concentration of ironwood trees found in the Sonoran Desert. The monument is also home to several federally recognized endangered and threatened animal and plant species. Also found within the monument’s borders are more than 200 Hohokam archeological sites dated from 600 to 1440.
ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT
10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321 520-387-6849, ext. 7302
Lying along the U.S./Mexico border, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the quintessential desert retreat. The monument, located within the Sonoran Desert, is home to the Organ Pipe cactus along with numerous other varieties of cacti and desert flora. The area is perfect for RV camping, tent camping and hiking. The park is about two hours south of Phoenix on Highway 85.
PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK
1 Park Road, No. 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028 928-524-6228
Petrified Forest National Park in northeast Arizona has one of the highest concentrations of petrified wood in the world. The park is connected to the multihued badlands of the Painted Desert and is one of the world’s best geologic and fossil records of the late Triassic period. Many of the fossils from the region date back 225 million years. There are also a number of significant Native American petroglyph and archeological sites within the park. The park is less than two hours east of Flagstaff on Interstate 40.
SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT
6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004 928-526-0502
Sunset Crater Volcano is the youngest of more than 600 volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic Field of northern Arizona. These volcanoes range in age from 6 million years old to less than 1,000 years old and helped form the Colorado Plateau. The area around Sunset Crater is still in the process of recovering from an eruption that took place between 1040 and 1100. A visitor’s center has exhibits on the causes, power and aftermath of an eruption. The monument is a half-hour north of Flagstaff.
WALNUT CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT
6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004 928-526-3367
Walnut Canyon, with its 350-foot-high canyon walls, is home to more than 25 cliff rooms built by ancient Puebloan people. The monument has two main trails for experiencing how they lived. The Rim Trail gives visitors an overview of the canyon, while the more strenuous Island Trail descends into the canyon and leads visitors to the cliff dwellings themselves. The monument is about 15 minutes east of Flagstaff.
WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT
6400 U.S. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004 928-679-2365
Wupatki National Monument lies near Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The area received a large influx of people shortly after the eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano because of the fertile farming lands created by fallen ash from the eruption. A number of ancient Puebloan cultures are represented by ruins within the monument, ranging from the Kayenta Anasazi to the Sinagua, but the most impressive is Wupatki Pueblo. Meaning “Big House” in the Hopi language, Wupatki Pueblo is thought to have been the area’s tallest and largest building of its time. Another significant structure within the monument is a ball court similar to those found in Mesoamerica. The park is north of Flagstaff off Highway 89.